Covering up the Red Nose

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:13 AM

This being the Christmas season I have watched many an animated Christmas presentation, for example I have seen Frosty the Snowman 327 times as of this writing. I have also had the privilege of watching another favorite several times and that one is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is certainly one of them.

Let’s get right to the story; when the story begins Donner and Mrs. Donner are the proud parents of a new baby reindeer. You can just hear the pride in Donner’s voice as he talks about his new son. They are as proud as any two reindeer can be. He even seems to be heir apparent to be on the big team someday leading Santa’s sleigh. They are proud indeed.

Then something happens that changes the whole scene. Rudolph turns the nose on, how this is done has yet to be proven scientifically but who am I to doubt. This blinding nose situation upsets his parents greatly, after all no other reindeer parents have a child with a red nose. What in the world will others think? I am pretty sure what they will think from later events but I am positive what Donner thinks; this nose is a problem and a shame to the family.
Donner does what many parents do when they find a flaw in their child; they seek to cover it up. Donner comes up with some contraption that covers Rudolph’s nose so that no one can see the red glow. This works okay until Rudolph goes out and is with the other young reindeer and it comes off. This is a sad moment for Rudolph and his dad.

You’ve heard that he no longer gets in any reindeer games which could lead me to another devotional about the Reindeer coach but we shall save that for later. It seems all is lost, no friends for Rudolph, dad is crushed and the whole leading Santa’s sleigh seems lost forever.
All because of one flaw and one failed cover up. For Rudolph the problem was not so much the red nose as it was the parents response to it from an early age, there is much us human parents can learn from such a thing. Below are a few:

Lose the perfect expectations. You will do yourself and your child a huge favor. Donner expected a big strapping boy ready to lead Santa’s sleigh. That is what he got; he just got the bonus of a red nose in the process. If you are having an issue with this I have a simple solution. Take a good long look in the mirror or check out your behavioral history.

See your child as a creation of God. God is the creator of all things; he made each person in his image with their own special gifts. We need to stop making a short stop out of a piano player. We need to see value in what God has created and let the flower bloom as God created it.

Do not be tempted to join in the competition. Too often as parents we try to live out our lives through our children’s. No doubt part of what bothered Donner was what others would think about that red nose. Who cares; that is your gift from God, buy a pair of sunglasses and enjoy the gift. We need to all get past worrying what others think.

The cover up never works. Rudolph knew he had a problem because everyone was acting like he had one. Thus when the cover up failed he failed as well. I am not saying bury your head in the sand, but I am saying find the positive and the good that the child can do and then help them do it. It is all about focus and honesty.

Side note: Often we see our own shortcomings in our children and that frustrates or scares us. Use what you know, you made it so will they but helping them avoid the pitfalls you faced is a good thing. Use your experience to your child’s advantage.

Shortcomings can be a blessing, see them as such. Had Rudolph not had that red nose well who knows what might have happened on that snowy night. If it had never been uncovered then Santa would not have known how to use him. Who knows what God has planned for our children? We might very well be covering up the very thing God wishes to use for his Glory. You only need see the Bible to know that God can use some pretty unusual characters to get his purpose done.

Of course this show has a happy ending, but only after some fretful days as Donner and all the other reindeers see the foolish way they behaved toward a simple red nose. We can avoid those fretful days if we keep things in the proper perspective from the start and do this one thing:
Stop covering up our child’s red nose and let it shine; who knows how God might use it!

Psalm 139:14,16: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…..Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Dear Lord, guide us as parents to see our children as a gift from you and to provide for our children as you would have us. We thank you for the gift and praise your name for your wonderful works; we ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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